Integrated SoCs target mid-range automotive infotainment systems

February 16, 2011 // By Julien Happich
The R-Car M1 series of SoCs released by Renesas Electronics represent the integration of the company’s SH-Navi series and EMMA Car series products. These devices have high adoption rates in car infotainment systems, such as dashboard-mounted car navigation systems. The R-Car M1 series of SoCs have been developed for mid-range systems which are expected to become the highest volume segment in the market and include the R-Car M1A and R-Car M1S in its lineup.

The R-Car M1 series feature a dedicated circuitry for intelligent multimedia processing, that saves approximately 92 percent of power in full 1920 x 1080-pixel HD (high-definition) video decoding relative to executing the same function in software on previous products. A dedicated power supply IC for use in a voltage regulator reduces power consumption by approximately 20 percent compared to Renesas Electronics’ existing products, and the POWERVR SGX graphics core enhances 3D rendering performance, allowing designers to create realistic graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and improved user operability. The incorporated ARM Cortex-A9 and Renesas Electronics’ SH-4A CPU cores operating at up to 800MHz deliver a processing performance of up to 3.7 Giga Instructions Per Second (GIPS).

The R-Car M1 SoCs feature Renesas Electronics’ low-power video processing IP, the VPU5HD2 which delivers encoding and decoding performance of 30 frames per second in full 1080 HD with MPEG-2, while meeting the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression standard. It also supports MPEG-4 decoding and VC-1 decoding, which can be used for a wide variety of video applications.

The new SoCs also incorporate Renesas Electronics’ second-generation sound processing unit (SPU), which is a 24-bit audio processing engine. This unit enables an increased number of audio channels to be processed compared to the company’s existing products, improving the digital signal processing (DSP) performance as well as the volume processing function. As an example, the R-Car M1 SoCs can support voice for a guided navigation function, while simultaneously executing audio processing for 5.1ch music. The SPU helps save approximately 88 percent of power consumption compared to CPU software processing.

The R-Car M1S SoC is based on Renesas Electronics SH-4A core, which is capable of general-purpose computation and media processing. Customers currently using the SH-4A core can continue to leverage their existing hardware and software for their future products.

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